Wow! April 24, 2012

Pelosi and fellow Lefties want to effectively repeal the first amendment.  I knew Lefties hate free speech but I didn’t think they’d be stupid and hubristic enough to try this yet.

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  • Elizabeth Scalia

    mark, I went to the link and got a viral threat warning…

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    Annnd I posted that comment on the wrong thread, here. Delete these if you want.

  • How can they repeal that which doesn’t exist?

  • Unbelievable. And yet forseeable–this looks like the ultimate wish fulfillment for proponents of the Brave New World being instituted.

    On a side note, I immediately reacted to the name of this proposed amendment, not for its politispeak, but for its acronym. As someone watching and supportive of the Parental Rights Amendment, which is slowly gaining ground, I can’t help but wonder if some deliberate effort to induce confusion might play a part in this move. “Which PRA amendment are you talking about?” And people seem naturally to be cautious about amending the Constitution. This latest ploy seems to make that tendency work in favor of those who want our children to indoctrinate and make de facto wards of the state. The more attempts come voters’ way, the more resistant thy are to such attempts.

  • Max

    Just say no to “gay.” Homosexuals will not hijack the english language in order to soften that hideous lifestyle. They’re not gay–there’s nothing gay about degrading oneself. If they’re so “proud” about their lifestyle, then they should call it what it is–sodomy.

  • Deacon Nathan Allen

    The language of the proposed amendment is stupidly polemic and out of character with other amendments to the Constitution, which shows this isn’t a serious effort. Everything they say they want (a repeal of the Citizens United decision) could be accomplished by something as simple as: “Nothing in this Constitution shall be contrued so as to restrict the power of the Congress or the several States from enacting reasonable restrictions on expenditures by corporations or associations of persons aimed at affecting the outcome of elections for State or federal office.” I daresay a lot of people in both parties would support such an amendment.

  • Irenist

    This monstrosity is likely an idiotic overreaction to the Citizens United decision. I’m somewhat sympathetic to the Citizens United decision, but I think it’s part of a broader bad trend: the Supreme Court has been constitutionalizing what should be legislative debates since at least Roe and Griswold. If they overthrow Obamacare, they’ll be at it again. Roe needs to go, and so does Citizens United. The Court needs to stop constitutionalizing issues that are not properly constitutional: there is no “right to privacy” in the Constitution, nor is money speech.
    Previous overreach by the Court has pushed the political system into some dark places in its attempts to work around the nine man roadblock: it took the Civil War to overrule Dred Scott, and FDR’s megalomaniacal threat of court packing to get the Lochner-era Court to allow the New Deal. Robert Bork has been probably the deepest thinker on a lot of these issues; one of many reasons it’s a shame Ted Kennedy and his Senate colleagues savaged Bork’s nomination to the Court back in the ’80s.

    • Tim

      “…nor is money speech.”

      Almost everyone requires money to speak (for instance, I had to buy a computer and internet access to write this), and it would defeat the purpose of the First Amendment if the government could justify prohibitions on expenditures related to speech as “regulating money” and therefore not subject to the First Amendment.

      It’s not just unconstitutional for the government to ban speech, it’s also unconstitutional to burden speech without a compelling government interest. Prohibiting or limiting the amount a person or corporation can spend is such a burden.

      • Ted Seeber

        Is fraud a compelling government interest, this former lefty now Chestertonian Distributist, wonders?

        • Tim

          Commercial speech, although generally protected under the First Amendment, is not protected if it is false (i.e. the government can regulate false advertising). So if commercial speech is false, the government doesn’t need to show a “compelling interest” to regulate or ban it.

          Technically, preventing fraud wouldn’t be a “compelling governmental interest” because that is a specific term of art for “strict scrutiny review” and, because false commercial speech is not protected, strict scrutiny does not apply and courts never ask whether prevention of fraud is a “compelling interest” because they never reach that question.

          Only burdens on protected speech require a “compelling interest.”

          • Tim

            Of course, false commercial speech may not even be “fraud” in the legal sense. That word (“fraud”) is used rather liberally in every day conversation, but has a specific meaning in law.

            So maybe you didn’t mean false commercial speech at all when you said “fraud”, but meant something else. If so, I apologize for my irrelevant comment.

            If you meant “lying” in general, I believe there was a Ninth Circuit case that said “lies” are protected under the First Amendment, and therefore the government needs a compelling government interest to regulate them.


            (article mentions the Ninth Circuit case).

            • Ted Seeber

              Hmm, never really thought about it before. I guess I consider fraud to be “lying for profit”- a good defense *against* a charge of fraud for me is if you lost money on the deal.

              • Tim

                That might not be a defense against fraud but a proof of incompetency.

    • Ted Seeber

      I agree. A certain maxim about knives, noses, and faces seems to apply.

  • Nick R

    I’m surprised you object to this so strongly, I think you should investigate the issue a bit first before you jump to “repeal the first amendment!”

    Here’s the actual text of the amendment, which I don’t find overly disturbing:

    It’s a way to combat campaign spending and corporate rule and special interest groups and elitist classes getting elected and special favors because they have so much money and advertising, things you normally object to, but now that someone has a proposed solution to superpacs, who you included a handy chart on a week ago, you dismiss it out of hand because it says corporations don’t have 1st amendment rights?
    If we don’t pass something like this, the SuperPACs are here to stay, because they supreme court has decided that the right to spend ludicrous amounts of corporate money on elections is inviolable.

    I can understand people being touchy about the first amendment, but after reading the legislation (which I haven’t found in hardly any news article) it doesn’t seem like a horrible scary trample our rights bill to me. I’d be interested what parts of it you object to or think will lead to loss of (actual) personal rights.

    Also, highly recommended listening, this episode of This American Life explains what financial stuff really goes on in DC. (warning: super depressing. If you think you’re cynical enough about Washington politics…you’re probably not)

    • Tim

      Most organizations are incorporated in some form or another. This amendment would deprive pretty much all organizations of Constitutional rights including non-profits, media corporations and possibly even churches. And it would deprive them of all rights, not just First Amendment rights.

      So, with this Amendment in effect, the government could silence the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal (or Patheos if it is a corporation), or could conduct searches and seizures on them without a warrant or probable cause, or seize their property for any purpose. It might even be able to tell churches what they may believe.

      This Amendment is a terrible idea.

      BTW, I’m pretty sure the statute which Citizens United struck down exempted Political Action Committees from its restrictions. So Citizens United had no effect on PACs.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Most importantly, could this affect the Church?

    • Tim

      “…because they [sic] supreme court has decided that the right to spend ludicrous amounts of corporate money on elections is inviolable.”

      Actually, it didn’t. Citizens United held only that restrictions on independent expenditures by corporations and unions was unconstitutional. It upheld restrictions on direct contributions to candidates by corporations.

  • dpt

    Suppose Nancy Pelosi (a 1%er) and her friends get what they want. And some point in the future along comes President Jeb Bush (or Sarah Palin, etc.) and they direct the Justice Dept to enforce certain 1st ammendment edicts…

    • RevDC

      I think Mark has been on target on this for some time. When out of power Democrats or Republicans warn us about the totalitarian agenda of the party in power. Then, when in office, they consolidate and expand the gains of the previous administration. Obama gladly assumed the power to detain and torture, and added to it the power to assassinate. We can either conclude that each party suffers from amnesia, or that members of both parties are part of one and the same movement toward the imperial and totalitarian state.

  • Cantorboy

    “In short, any political speech more complex than standing on a soapbox at an intersection would be subject to the whims of Nancy Pelosi.”
    C’mon, Mark! What’s not to like about THAT?
    I can hear her now, ghostly face projected on video screen, surrounded by smoke and flame, bellowing: “SILENCE WHIPPERSNAPPER! THE GREAT AND POWERFUL NANCY HAS SPOKEN!”
    I can hardly wait!